Author: Alison Johnson
Ever heard of the "Eraser Challenge"? Adminstrators and teachers at several local middle schools have, unfortunately.
Here's the basic gist: kids rub their skin with an eraser for as long as they can tolerate it, competing against one another. Sometimes they try to rub off a few layers of skin to create a burn. Sometimes they put hand sanitizer on the irritated skin to see who can handle the pain. Often, the spot is the top of their left hands, assuming they're right-handed. The Eraser Challenge, not surprisingly, can lead to scarring and infection.
Here are other games making the rounds at some schools:
The Ice and Salt Challenge: Kids put water on their skin, add some table salt and then hold an ice cube to the spot for as long as possible. The chemical reaction is painful and can cause blistering and burns.
The Cinnamon Challenge: Kids try to eat a spoonful of cinnamon in a minute without drinking any water. Reactions can include vomiting, breathing problems and severe coughing.
The Gallon Challenge: Kids try to drink an entire gallon of milk, preferably whole milk, in an hour without vomiting. Inevitably, they do vomit, and they can also experience severe diarrhea, cramps and bloating.
Chubby Bunny: Kids try to cram as many marshmallows in their mouths as possible while still able to say the words, "chubby bunny." Some have choked on marshmallows that lodge in their throats.
Teachers are talking to students about the games, but school leaders are urging parents to do the same at home. Hopefully the children and teenagers, no matter how impulsive and stubborn they might be, will listen.